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Le Tour de France 2014


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Hi, I posted a while back that we were ordering a new Elddis Autoquest as our first motorhome after years of envious spectating- it should be ready anyday soon (we hope) as we were given a potential mid October delivery schedule.


Anyhoo, we followed Le Tour a bit this year (pre-motorhome ownership) and potentially would like to go back again next year with the van and head for some stages possibly the mountains this time.


The route for the 2014 Tour has now been announced/published and I was wondering if anyone a) else was planning to head for the hills (or any other stages) or b) had any suggestions for the areas through which the race will pass;


13/ Friday 18 July 2014 - Saint-Étienne > Chamrousse - 200 km

14/ Saturday 19 July 2014 - Grenoble > Risoul - 177 km

15/ Sunday 20 July 2014 - Tallard > Nîmes - 222 km


16/ Tuesday 22 July 2014 - Carcassonne > Bagnères-de-Luchon - 237 km

17/ Wednesday 23 July 2014 - (Spainish stage) Saint-Gaudens > Saint-Lary-Soulan - Pla d'Adet - 125 km

18/ Thursday 24 July 2014 - Pau > Hautacam - 145 km


I hope there are some others out there who have an eye on next years tour and it would be great to get any help or advice on these areas/regions.


Thanks in very much in advance for any advice!!


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Hi Maurice

We'll be back in the UK by the time the 2014 Tour starts, after 3 weeks in France (never mind, we can watch it near Chelmsford!).

I'll have a look at the map tomorrow and see if I can make any specific suggestions, but from previous visits:

1) you're right to go for the mountains - the race goes slower, and the peloton is more spread out, so you can actually identify and cheer individual riders (as we did for Wiggo and Cav in 2012!).

2) as a general principle, get to the top of a hill the previous lunchtime, then drive down the route the riders will be climbing, until you find a suitable space by the roadside. Park, level up, switch on the fridge, and put out your chairs, ideally just a couple of feet from the road (any further back and someone else will park in between you and the road!). Then just sit outside with your favourite tipple and welcome the camping-caristes of all nationalities who'll gradually join you during the afternoon.

Have fun!

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Agreed, go for at least a cat3 climb, then move off as soon as the road reopens and leapfrog at least a stage to get onto another climb. Timetrials are also as these last all day and lots of vans stop overnight in various towns or villages along the route. Enjoy, we're not going next year but will be there for 2015 fingers crossed.
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Preceding the cyclists is a procession of sponsor throwing out balloons, t shirts, hats etc and this is called 'the caravan' and is a spectacle on it's own. Can take about 15/20 minutes to pass and then when the tour comes its just 'whoosh' and they have gone.


Have parked at roadside for two tours and it was a case of park where you can. Goodness nows how the UK councils are going to accept this.

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If you check the detailed official timetable/route issued a month before the race it tells you what times the caravan and peleton will pass points along each stage, road by road, depending on the average pace.


In France people came out purely for the caravan. It just totally ramps up the atmosphere and is fairly spread out and itself can take half an hour to pass.

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I went this year to Le Col de Pailheres in the Pyrenees. Got there 6 days before the race was due and


the next day all the decent roadside spots were taken. Later arrivals were either pitching on inclines, right


on the edge of a sheer drop.or on the huge flat area, away from the road, at the top of the Col.


Three days before the race Gendarme patrols began checking the route and moving those they


considered to be a problem and continued the patrols until the arrival of the race. Local authority dished


out rubbish sacks and constructed dumps for the sacks.


The day before the race our little 'village' had to repel boarders when several car loads of Spaniards


arrived intending to pitch their tents in front of the Motorhomes when anyone took their chairs inside. This


was prevented by taping off the area. They pitched their tents on a slope some distance away but were


very noisy. A joint Gendarme and Spanish Guarda Civil patrol were checking the route that day and


stopped at our 'village' for about 20 minutes but had left before the invasion.


If you want to get lots of the freebies from the caravan you need to wave and shout to those lobbing the


stuff out. It's mostly tat like key rings or wrist bands but the official Tour merchandise vans, which arrive


ahead of and following the caravan, sell t-shirts, hats etc.



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The publicity caravan should definitely not be missed. I used to love the Michelin men riding motorcycles no-handed. They don't seem to have them now. I guess they all fell off.

Still it must be good job for student to drive a go-cart disguised as a Vittel bottle around France.


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michele - 2013-10-30 5:37 PM


Apparently they will come right past the front door . Yipee lucky us avid tour followers in this house ..What Caravan are you talking about ?


Can we come and park on your drive then Michele? I'm not TOO far away, but wild-camping by the course is part of the tradition!

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